Monthly Archives: September 2010
Dhirendra Nath Panda, an artist from Orissa, used 71 bags of sand to make the idol that shows Ganpati as a child sleeping blissfully on top of a giant lotus leaf, clutching a few lotus buds. The artist and his assistant took over seven hours to complete the sand sculpture. All their effort paid off, however, with the sculpture leaving mall-goers amazed.
“Almost every visitor stops by to see and appreciate our sand Ganpati idol ,” said Abhishek Majithia, who works as a disc jockey (DJ) at the mall. Meanwhile, at the Inorbit mall in Vashi, Hypercity store has installed a Ganpati idol made entirely of biscuits and chocolates.
Powai – 19 SEPTEMBER 10 : Powai’s neighbourhood celebrated arts and crafts store, Su:riti The Culture Shop in its attempt to connect to Indian Culture holds workshop of various ethnic regions from time to time. Coinciding with Maharashtra‘s greatest festival of Ganeshotsav Su:riti honoured one of its renowned Ganesha idol-maker, Vijay Khatu last week.
Surendra Hiranandani, the director of Lakewood Malls which holds the brands of Haiko and Su:riti felicitated Vijay Khatu in a special ceremony. Speaking on the occasion Hiranandani said, “It is a privilege for us to honour an artisan like Vijay Khatu who has elevated the craft of Ganesha idol-making to godliness. His idols look so realistic that it inspires a sense of awe and immense respect in the devotees.”
Vijay Khatu has been making Ganesha idols for decades. In the last 40 years he has made more than 250 Ganesha idols of 25 feet height. He has been making idols for Nasik, Mumbai, Pune. He is known for making the mega idols for the famous Lalbagcha Raja Ganeshas.
His father Ramkrishna Khatu worked in Poddar Mills for 30 years. Vijay himself worked in Swadeshi Mill for nearly six years before it shut. He is nostalgic of the mill life and reminisces, “Even though Mumbai has three mill revivals, the spirit of old Mumbai, with crowds of mill workers coming and going, will never return.”
With growing environmental awareness Vijay Khatu has reserved a niche in his Lalbaug work shed for a special kind of Ganpati idol this year. Unlike the assembly-line models made of plaster of Paris, this one is not hollow. It is filled with clay dough. Dressed in warm, hand-painted colours, the beautiful small Ganpati wears an unusually big smile as compared to its white-faced counterparts.
“Eco-friendly idols are in great demand, but we have so few artisans to make them,” says Khatu. “In two years, I hope to train many craftsmen to meet the demand.”
Source: Planet Powai
At the Vaibhav Mitra Mandal, aartis and poojas have been performed by sex workers and eunuchs since it began celebrating Ganeshotsav in 1968. All castes and religions enthusiastically take part in the celebrations.
The Ganapati temple of the mandal stands at a place that was a garbage dump once.
“There was a garbage dump in Budhwar Peth that we cleared to build the Ganapati and Renuka Devi temple,” said Prakash Kuchekar, president of the mandal. “Our tradition has never changed in the past four decades.”
One of the better-known Ganapati mandals in the city, it is the only place where aartis and poojas are performed exclusively by sex workers and hijras.
“Of the total 450 hijras and 1,500 sex workers as members, we have people who are Hindu, Muslim and Christian and others,” Mallika Shaikh, a hijra from the area. “There are no barriers of caste, region or even sex.” B Penna Gabriel, who runs Ashirwad, an NGO that works for hijras in Budhwar Peth, said hijras were living like outcastes even after 63 years of Independence and that the Ganeshotsav helped them get over the hurt.
“Ganeshotsav is the time when we are treated like equals at this mandal and we get to forget our problems and enjoy the festival just like anyone else,” Gabriel said. The proceeds collected from the mandal go towards the education and upbringing of children of sex workers. “If any hijras or sex workers fall sick, then some of the money collected is given to them for treatment. but the main purpose of this Ganapati mandal is to make people give us a place in the mainstream of society,” said Ranuka Korvi, a woman member of the mandal.
|> The Vaibhav Mitra Mandal was established by
the late Digambar Khanse Chandrakant Takawale
and a devdasi, the late Pramilabai Pawar
> It’s members consist of 1,500 sex workers and 450 hijras besides the residents of Dhamdhare Galli in Budhwar Peth
> Over 2,000 sex workers and hijras participate in the Renuka Devi procession, which goes down Laxmi Road on May 12 every year
> The mandal’s budget for last year was Rs 1.97 lakh
While most Ganpati mandals in the city have taken up themes promoting a social message, the Mahadevachi Wadi Ganesh Mandal in Parel has an unique theme this year. The mandal’s theme is based on the inclusion of housewives in the category of non-productive citizens alongside beggars, prostitutes and criminals in the recently conducted census.
The mandal has prepared an eight-minute audio-visual light show, which has been created using cardboard and plywood cutouts of famous women like President Pratibha Patil and ace-shooter Tejaswini Sawant, along with women running small businesses and those working in the fields. A script written by Arvind Padyal, who is the brain behind the theme, accompanies the show.
“It is sad that women in our society are not given much respect and the ones who are have to perform well in respected professions. Housewives and women who do small businesses are also running their homes,” said 50-year-old Padyal, who has been behind the mandal’s themes for the past nine years.
The mandal, which boasts the distinction of being founded before independence, is celebrating its 65th year. “All the work here is done by our boys from the locality. Some are architects, some are engineers, but all of them come together during this time of the year,” said Deepak Salvi, one of the organising members of the mandal, which recycles most of the material they use to design the theme.
With this year’s theme getting a favourable response, the mandal is expecting another award. “Bringing about a change in the status of women even in our vicinity will be quite an award,” said Padyal.
Source: Hindustan Times
As many as 31,000 women thronged the narrow lanes in front of the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati pandals as early as 5 am on the second day of the Ganesh festival this year. The streets leading to the famed pandals have seen similar crowds every year on Rishi Panchami for the past 22 years. The women visit the place to attend the Atharvasheersh Pathan and the Maha Aarti.
A the brain child of Arun and Shubhangi Bhalerao, the event started with 100 women. Last year 19,000 women attended the event. “The Atharvasheersh Pathan usually happens at 6 am. It is a community pooja that is done every year by us so that the women can spread the light of the Lord to the four corners of the city. We began this as an experiment 22 years ago and ever since numbers have just grown,” says Shubhangi Bhalerao.
Women come dressed in traditional Navari sarees and jewellery. Arun Bhalerao, the convenor of the programme, says, “We usually give out badges to the women who take part in it. We have around 200 self help groups that are also in sync with us, whose members come in for the programme.”
This year’s theme of Andhericha Raja is the replica of the ancient Somnath temple located at western border of Gujarat. Like every year replica will be made by world famous, “Taj Mahal” fame, Art Director Mr. Anant Baburao Shinde.
The legendary shore temple of Somnath is located near Veraval and is about 80 kms from Junagadh. The Somnath temple is one of the twelve most sacred shrines dedicated to the Lord Shiva and a jyotirlinga. This temple has a very long history. According to the legends, the Somnath temple is very old and was originally built in gold by the Somraj, the Moon God. Later, it was rebuilt by Ravana, in silver; then by Krishna in wood and Bhimdev in stone. The current temple was built as per the traditional designs on the original site by the sea. Today, this majestic temple is a replica of the earlier temple. Mahmud of Ghazni, upon hearing the description of the richness of the Somnath temple by Al Biruni, an Arab traveller, visited this temple in 1024 AD.
|A file photo of a devotee immersing a Ganesha idol at Shivaji Park at the end of Chaturthi celebrations|
Ganesha devotees visiting Juhu beach for visarjan have found themselves being chased by a band of eager youngsters. These young men travel all the way from Solapur to be in Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi every year, to help devotees immerse their idols in choppy waters. Waiting for your nod, the boys quickly take charge of the idol, and plunge into the deep ocean to immerse it while you watch from the comfort of the shore.
A seven year trip
“I have been coming here for seven years with all friends for Ganesh Visarjan. I have great faith in Lord Ganesha. We carry the idol from the shore all the way into deep sea,” ‘expert’ Govind Pawar. He is one among a band of almost 50 men who throng the beach every year.
“I was fascinated with the celebrations when I first visited Mumbai, and decided to come here every year,” said Yogesh Kamble, another devotee-immersion agent.
Faith and a quick buck
The youth are all expert swimmers, and that’s a help for devotees who may shy away from tackling the sandy shore and going deep into the sea with their idols.
The Solapur youngsters say the annual visit makes them feel part of the celebrations and lends them a chance to make a quick buck.
“We are given anything from Rs 50 to Rs 100 for immersing each idol. We charge Rs 500 for the bigger murtis. We end up splitting the cash,” said Pawar.
Akhil Mandai Ganapati Trust is one of the immensely important Mandals in Pune. Words don’t suffice to describe the beauty of the idol of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Sharada sitting on the swing. The entire decoration here gives you the feel of a royal palace. The beautiful carvings in the background are just awesome. Come you must and bathe in the sheer beauty here.
Rajarshi Shahu Chowk Ganeshotsav Mandal
The grand set up of the Pagoda put up by the Rajarshi Shahu Chowk Ganeshotsav Mandal is indeed a treat to watch. You must come and experience the magnificence of the sight.
Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai
Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Trust needs no introduction in India. Keeping with the past tradition the trust has erected a huge palace called Bhagyoday Parasad. In this palace the ever beautiful idol of Lord Ganesha has been placed artistically among the flower decorations which make Ganesha look like a king. The two artificial lions at the entrance are catching the eye of all as they look real. The entire decoration of the Bhagyodaya Prasad fills your mind with a sense of awe. If you don’t come here this year, you are going to miss something very special indeed.
Hutatma Babu Genu
Hutatma Babu Genu Ganesh Mandal Trust near the Mahatma Phule Vegetable market is pulling oodles of people as the trust has made the Ichchha Poorti Kund. You are supposed to stand at a certain distance and throw a coin in the big vessel placed in the middle of the pond. The big image of Lord Shiva too has been placed in the pond. If you manage to throw the coin right into the vessel, rest assured Lord Ganesh will fulfill all your wishes. The idol of the Mandal too is awesome and people are rushing to bow down before Ganesh having many wishes blooming in their minds
Ganapati Chowk Mitra Mandal
Ganapati Chowk Mitra Mandal on the Laxmi Road has made a perfect replica of Lalbagcha Raja who is considered to be the king of Mumbai. The beauty of this idol lies in the ornaments and the anatomical perfection shown by the sculptor.
Navajawan Mitra Mandal near the famous Hotel Lajjat in Sadashiv Peth is presenting a huge moving scene of Shri Saibaba. The mandal has made a huge 55 feet high idol of Saibaba which has become the center of attraction this year. People are crowding to have the enlivening experience of taking blessings from Saibaba.
Shri Vinayak Mitra Mandal
Shri Vinayak Mitra Mandal Trust near the Bhide Pool joining Deccan Bus Stop and the Narayan Peth area is presenting the live scene of the coronation ceremony of King Shivaji. The grandeur of the scene lies in the rich costumes and ornaments of King Shivaji and his noblemen in the court. The Ganesh idol of the mandal is red in color and showing Ganesh in an impressive dancing pose.